Away Defense 93.1 ppg
"Increase Offensive Production!"
The Raptors pick up a big win over the Hawks tonight, 93-88. Bosh looked like an MVP yet again, putting up 30 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks. To me, this may have been his best performance of the year so far. When the Hawks played off of him, he nailed J's like they were layups, when they crowded him, he drove, when they doubled him, he dished, with only 2 turnovers on the night... And oh yeah, he anchored the D with Jermaine O'Neal sitting out with his bum knee.
Another "must win" game tomorrow for the Raps. Raps vs. Atlanta. I did a simulation on my Xbox 360, and the Hawks won 120-101. The only thing is that I played as the Raps and I suck at NBA 2K9. Hopefully, tomorrows result will look a little better.
Since the Raps are on an off night, here's the starting 5 for tonight:
At point guard, "WE WILL, WE WILL ROKO" U-kic
Courtesy of thehoopdoctors.com is a nice little piece on Raptors guard, Roko Ukic. The Croation guard is making his NBA debut this year. He looks like he's about 14 but he's had some professional experience in Europe and he's actually 23. His dad played for one of the greatest Croatian rock bands, Daleka Obala.
It's time to get to know your Raptors. Shoutouts to the thehoopdoctors & their piece on Roko Ukic.
At shooting guard, Allen Iverson.
EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! Allen Iverson misses practice.
We've seen this video so many times. A.I. be talking about practice! Not a game, he be talking about practice!
And today he was a no-show to practice. According to the Detroit Free Press, Iverson skipped out on the Pistons Thanksgiving Day practice. Anyhow, looks like he will be fined and coming off the bench on Friday when they play Milwaukee.
Maybe he wanted to catch the Titans whooping of the Detoit Lions today.
Also, check out the rap battle between A.I. & Kobe at fearthebeard.com. Cast your vote today!
At small forward, Manu Ginobili
Spurs took care of the Bulls last night. Check the tasty dish by Manu on spursreport.com. Again......Welcome back Manu!
At power forward, Kurt Rambis
The best moustaches of the NBA. http://www.intentionalfoul.com/nba/great-nba-mustaches/ displays what real moustaches should look like.
At centre, Matt Bonner
Matt Bonner doesn't sport Nike Air Jordans, he sports New Balance Bonners.
Courtesy of mysanantonio.com, former Raptor Matt Bonner sees himself as a boring guy. He loves Subway and drives a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix. Another fact about Matt Bonner? No cavities. Exciting.
Raps were on a mission tonight. This was a so-called "must win" game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Friday, they face the Hawks......and then after that?
According to the National Post, Jermaine O'Neal may be back Wednesday when they face the Bobcats. He's saying his knee is good but it will be day to day. Apparently, he thought if he showed up against the Celtics, it would motivate the team to perform well against the Champs.
Shoutouts to Cuzoogle. There's a contest to predict the date Sam Mitchell will get fired. The winner will get a prize of $25. Raps have a tough schedule coming up with big team opponents like Denver, Utah, Cleveland, LA Lakers, New Orleans and two more games against VC's Nets (ugh) Speaking of firing coaches, Eddie Jordan has been fired as the Wizards head coach according to the Washington Post. The Wizards are 1-10.
According to Out of Left Field, the Red Rocket, Matt Bonner wants to join Team Canada.
Here's props to co-contrbutor Sean and his Bulls, here's the finish to last night's Bull's game. Larry Hughes sealed it with the buzzer beater.
Honestly, this was a tough matchup from the get go. After a devastating loss to the New Jersey Nets, the Toronto Raptors wanted to come out tough against the world champs today. Raps fans had a sour taste from the last game, and were hungry for a win against the Celtics.
But things didn't work out this way, the game started out a bit ugly falling 10-0 in the first minutes of the first quarter. By the end KG and the C's ended up beating the Raps 118-103.
Defense wasn't great, the Raps allowed 118 pts and the Celtics shot 70+% from the field in the second half and 61% overall. Celtics had the points in the paint outscoring the Raps 48-22. All starters for the Celtics ended up with double figures with Ray Allen having some wide open looks and hitting 5 threes.
The game was not all bad, Jermaine O'Neal was starting for the Raps after a scare last game, but it was good to see him starting at centre. He was up to the challenge against the champs but unfortunately, he left in the second quarter. It's good to see him leave the game and give him time to rehab the knee; the last thing the Raps need is to lose his inside presence. From the recap, the injury looks to be day to day.
Overall, the loss was disappointing. The Raps didn't have that intensity they had against the Nets. Raps weren't down big throughout the whole game and made runs to pull it within 6....
...it never got it closer than that and the Raps never had a lead. Bosh had a decent game: 24 pts, 6 boards but KG played tough defense on him.
In order for the Raps to prove that they can be a viable playoff contender, they need wins against these big teams not wins against Mickey Mouse teams like Miami and Milwaukee. Raps are off until Wednesday when they face Charlotte. Opponents that follow include the Atlanta Hawks and the LA Lakers. Check out the funny video on the LA Lakers' Sasha "The Machine" Vujacic.
Photo credit: (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Oh my, what a ball game. Unfortunately, I can't put 10 exclamation points at the end of the first sentence because it ended on a sour note for Raptors fans. Vince Carter, Devin Harris and the Nets took down the Raps 129-127 in OT. Let me break it down for you in pain and pleasure point form:
Pleasure – Andrea Bargnani, for the second straight game puts up 25+ points (29 on this night) and also pulls down 10 boards. He's playing with confidence now and looks like he could live up to all our early Dirk Nowitzki expectations.
Pain – Jermaine O'Neal goes down with a knee injury. Hopefully it's not too serious (but man, did it look serious when it happened), as he had been steadily improving game by game. The Raps need his inside presence, which is one of the reasons Bosh has been able to raise his game to an MVP level.
Pleasure – Seeing Jose Calderon come back strong from straining his hamstring last week and putting up some sweet point guard numbers with 26 points, 15 assists and 5 rebounds. It's amazing how well Calderon's been running the team, especially since it's only his first year as the full-time starting PG.
Pain – Watching “Numero Ocho” let us know that “it's over” after his dagger 3 put the Raps up by 7 with 2 minutes to go. As we all know now, it most definitely was not over, especially the way the Raptors have been closing out games this season. Hey Jose! What the hell?!? A seven point lead does not equal “it's over” in the NBA! Have you ever seen Isiah, 16 points in 94 seconds vs the Knicks? T-Mac's four 3's in 30-something seconds a couple years back? The Pistons stealing the ball at halfcourt with a few seconds left and Rasheed Wallace hitting that halfcourt shot against the Nuggets a couple years back to force OT? Reggie Miller's 8 points in 17 seconds vs. the Knicks? It's never over until the scoreboard clock reads all zero's!
... And oh yeah, Devin Harris lit him up for 30 points, including a late steal and layup during the run that forced OT.
Pleasure – Watching Bosh show the competitor he is, putting up another 40-point game, his second in three games. I wanna hear MVP chants every time he goes to the foul line at the ACC for the rest of the year!
Pain – Unfortunately, with LeBron being the runner-up last year and the Cavs putting up eight straight wins and leading the Central early in the season, MVP for CB4 doesn't appear likely. The Raptors have to start finishing games off stronger and have homecourt in the east for Bosh to even have a chance against the King of the 2010 free agent class (would everyone stop talking about that! It's two years away! There is the whole matter of 2 NBA seasons to happen first, how about we focus on that?)
Pleasure – Listening to the crowd boo their hearts out every time Vince Carter touched the ball and watching the Raps for the better part of three quarters stick it to the Nets.
Pain – Watching the man formerly known as Air Canada light up the scoreboard for 39 points including the game tying 3 pointer to end regulation AND the game winning reverse alley-oop jam to win the game in OT. This just in: the Tin Man does have a heart! He played great down the stretch, making all of Raptors nation ask: And where the heck was THAT at the end of your Raps career, Mr. Carter? Seeing Vince do what he did tonight and Bosh do what he did tonight... oh, what could have been.
Pleasure – Watching a great Raptors game, with clutch shots being hit down the stretch by both teams.
Pain – Having Matt Devlin call it and not Chuck Swirsky. Not that Matt Devlin is particularly bad, he's actually quite solid. But he's just not the Swirsk. There's only one Swirsk. Come back Swirsk! Come back!!!!!!! Okay, no more mention of Swirsk, glad that's out of my system... Until they play the Bulls...
And one last note of pain: Next up: The NBA champion, trash talking Boston Celtics. Ugh. Make it into a pleasurable W on Sunday afternoon, Raps!
Too bad the Raps couldn't play the Heat for 82 games.
The Raps looked a hell of a lot better tonight beating the Heat 101-95. First of all, the Raps didn't need to deal with inexperienced Will Solomon at the point because Jose Calderon was back and they needed his return. I still can't get over the fact that Matt Devlin dissed Solomon's game on the air on Tuesday.
Chris Bosh was bananas. Yes, anytime a player has a performance like Bosh's tonight you either have to say "sick" or "bananas" As for the rest of the Raps, they were a little ugly. JO was in foul trouble, Anthony Parker couldn't get it going, Andrea Bargnani had 3 boards, I don't think that was the gameplan. The Raps had an opportunity to redeem themselves against the Orlando Magic but lost to Orlando 103-90.
Chris Bosh was phenomenal with 40 pts, 18 reb, 2 steals, 1 block (99.5 fps!)
Will Solomon got the start at point again....his game was a little ugly but give him credit, it was only his second start. Jameer Nelson easily won the point guard battle as he went for 20+ pts and Solomon had 10 points and 7 turnovers. Turnovers were a big problem from the Raps with 21 turnovers.
Raps did a good defensive job on Dwight Howard but Orlando's Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis & Hedo Turkoglu all went off and each scored 22 pts.
Anthony Parker, Andrea Bargnani and the rest of the Raps didn't do much of anything, Chris Bosh kept them in the game. The Raps were so bad, even Matt Devlin was even knocking the Raps, Roko and Will Solomon during the game. It's a little hard right now to see if the Raps are that much better than last season. It takes time for chemistry & development but they need more from their guards to win games. Jose Calderon needs to be back on the floor. I think Raps fans were expecting a better start for the Raps, but they just need to get a streak rolling and have to get a win against a good team to get their confidence going. Raps face the Miami Heat for a second time tomorrow.
According to the Toronto Star, Jose Calderon is listed as questionable for today's game against the Heat. If Calderon can't go it looks like may be "We Will, We will Roko You" Ukic starting at the point for the Raps (thanks to U-E for the nickname!)
According to ESPN, Sacramento Kings head coach has been fined $25,000 for comments about the officiating in their loss against the Pistons. For those of you who don't know Reggie Theus, he starred in one of the teeny bopper shows after Saturday morning cartoons (after shows like Saved By The Bell, California Dreaming) in the show Hang Time as Coach Fuller. Hang Time was about a high school boy's basketball team (plus one female player) It didn't produce great characters like Zach, AC Slater and Screech but it was one of the breakout roles for actor Anthony Anderson (Hustle & Flow, Transformers)
With Iverson in town, who knew where that left Rip Hamilton in the offense. Rip had a great line against the Warriors last night, 24 pts 6 reb & 7 assists and the Pistons pulled out the win. Rip's line was so good, he was top performer on the Yahoo! boxscore. Check the line.....and the amish beard.
I have been playing fantasy sports (mostly football and basketball) for at 7-8 years now and I’ve come to a conclusion: Fantasy sports are for nerds (I can say that because I’m one of them)
I think real sports fans play in fantasy leagues but nerds dominate them. It’s a numbers game, made for computer geeks and accountants who like doing research, like working with percentages, watching stocks rise and fall, buying low and selling high. The true fantasy nerds are the ones who can tell you the stats of any particular NBA player but can’t tell you what happened in last night’s game or who won. Fantasy sports just scream Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, Chess, Checkers, Pokemon, you name it... but it has a mask of "sports" to hide behind.
In my current fantasy basketball leagues, each player is valued by their players stats. The players aren’t just measured by just the points they score, we measure them in fantasy points. (as I continue in my nerdy voice) The formula is pretty simple:
Free throws made = 0.5 point each
Threes made=1.5 points each
Points scored=1 point each
Rebounds=2 points each (Offensive ones get you a bonus 0.5 point)
Assists=2 points each
Steals=3 points each
Blocks=3 points each
Turnovers= -1 point each
Technical Fouls= -5
Your average player averages roughly 30 fantasy points (fp’s) per game. If a player breaks 100 points in one game, it’s a pretty rare occasion.
Last night there was one player scoring 100+ fantasy points, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. I mean Lebron and J-Kidd always drop triple doubles but nothing like Dwight Howard's line:Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic - 30 pts, 19 rebounds, 10 swats! and 3 assists (his first career triple double) = 108.5 FPs!! Dwight Howard is a beast.
Eric Snow said it best on NBATV last night describing Howard. Snow said Dwight Howard is not only 6’10-6’11 but he’s also quick and can jump like Vince Carter. He beats the big guys guarding him with his speed and just jumps over the little guys.
And for the other line of the night…
I have to admit, Chuck Swirsky was cheesy at times (no pun intended) but the guy was memorable. Every Chris Bosh dunk, every Mo Pete three, every Anthony Parker three, the Swirsk had to put his mark on it. It was late last night as I watching Heat-Blazers. Towards the end of the 4th quarter, Dwyane Wade had just dunked it on three Blazers...but what got me even more was the call by the Heat commentator (I think it was Eric Reid).
The call:"Dwyane Wade just applying some Noxema!!!! What a facial by Wade!!!!" (They show the play again on replay) "He just took him to the spa for a facial!"
THIS GUY should have replaced Chuck Swirsky and be calling Raps games... that was a total Swirsky-esque call.
Finally, the Atlanta Hawks are the real deal. They lost their first game, but it was a one point game (without Josh Smith at that) against the World Champs. I mean the Hawks could have pulled it out but “The Truth” is just too good.
Internet video is just great. It keeps you entertained when you're bored at home, it keeps you busy when you're bored at work , whether you're searching for classic clips of the Golden State Warriors or you miss an old Canadian hip hop video from 1989, it's pretty much all on Youtube.
The Baron Davis vs. Chris Bosh video contest is just what the NBA needs, we just get to see another side of these players. When I first saw the the CBoshTV clips on Youtube, I was like "what the? this is Chris Bosh?" It just showed me a whole new side of the guy and made me a bigger fan of him.
This is CB4's first installment of the Chris Bosh vs BoomDizzle video skit contest. With a cameo appearance of The Score's Cabbie. Man, no one has a better job than Cabbie.
Last night's line of the night - Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks - 27 points, 17 boards, 2 assists, 6 blocks...and Al's Hawks? Undefeated? Craziness. The Hawks take on the Celtics tonight, who they took to 7 games in last year's playoffs.
Greg Oden makes his return tonight for his NBA debut (again.)
The Nuggets are 3-0 with Chauncey Billups and the Pistons are 1-2 with Allen Iverson. Hmm...
Raps take on the Sixers tonight , Raps lost 3 of their last 4.
Wikipedia is a wonderful thing. Get to know your Raptors: This week's Raptor: Will Solomon
Who knew Steve Nash had a comedic side? Check out Kid Canada, Steve Nash's commercial for his vitamin water.
Hey everyone, U-E Sampang here with my first Hoop Heads North blog post. And for anyone who knows me, it'll come as no surprise that my first post will be about DEEETTTROOIIIITT BASKETBAAAAALLLLL! The original title of the post was going to be “Why the Pistons Will Win the Championship”, even before the blockbuster trade that brought Iverson to “The D”. But now, post trade, I'm sure a lot more people will agree with me. Including all those national media folks who are still on a honeymoon with their beloved (as Rasheed would call them) “Team NBA” Celtics.
So what makes this year's Pistons better than the last 3 years' teams, all of which went down in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals? First off, the coach. Anyone who watched Michael Curry as a player probably thought “Why the heck is this scrub on the floor?” Anyone who watched him closer knew he was on the floor because he plays hard, he plays smart, and he's a leader on the court, despite his limited physical gifts as compared to the game's elite.
As a first year head coach, Curry brings all the qualities that made him a respected NBA player and already commands the respect of his team. He's not afraid to play any of the young guys during crucial points in the game (Will Bynum and Alex Acker on the floor in the fourth quarter against the Raps last night? What the?!?), which will pay off big-time in the playoffs. He's also been big on accountability of all players, even the veterans. If you don't bring it on offense and defense every single time you step on the court, you sit, simple as that.
The Pistons have also gotten younger over the past couple years. Not only is Amir Johnson in the starting lineup now, but on any given night, Rodney Stuckey can affect the game with his hard drives to the basket and on ball defense. Jason Maxiell has shown he can post, hit jumpers, throw down alley oops, and protect the hoop in always spectacular fashion (Chris Paul to Tyson Chandler alley-oop?!? Not in J-Max's house!). And the pony-tailed Argentinian Walter Hermann can defend and hustle, hit 3's and drive to the hoop for a spark off the bench. Even Arron Afflalo, Will Bynum and Kwame Brown have already shown they can come in and help out. We're only 4 games into the season, but so far, so good: 4-0 with a point differential bested only by the Lakers and the Jazz.
And last but not least, there's A.I. Allen Iverson, the Answer. The fans, the media, everyone has been saying for years that the Pistons offense fails in the playoffs because it lacks a superstar who can get a shot off in any situation. Enter A.I Done and done. Some are saying that taking away Chauncey and adding Iverson's ball-dominating ways will take away from the Pistons team concept. I disagree. Michael Curry's running a Princeton-style motion offense. As long as there are 5 guys on the court willing to pass, make cuts and find the open man, the offense should flow. Iverson said all the right things at the press-conference about wanting to fit in and his main goal being a championship, so I think he'll buy in to the team concept, in the same way that Ray Allen and KG did when they went to the Celtics. Sure Iverson played with many capable scorers in Denver who complained about not getting enough touches, but this is Detroit. As long as they're winning, I highly doubt Rip, Rasheed and Tayshaun will complain about touches. Carmelo Anthony was still able to average over 25 points per game playing with Iverson and let's not forget that despite all his shots, Iverson is still among the league leaders in assists every year.
On the defensive end, Iverson's quickness should fit in well with Curry's plan to play more pressure D, cause turnovers and run more. If he buys in to Curry's hard practices, and practices hard in practice, the defensive end is where Iverson can really surprise people.
One last note, although it's not official, Antonio McDyess will probably be bought out by Denver and Detroit can re-sign him in 30 days, giving them another quality big who can rebound and hit shots come playoff time.
So to all those “bandwagon-ass cats” (another Sheedism), hop on board, there's plenty of room on the '09 Pistons Championship train!
Big night last night in the NBA.
First of all, the Raps-Pistons game was a good one, Jose Calderon kept the Raps in the game down the stretch but the Pistons were just too dominant for the Raps. I also have to mention........I miss Chuck Swirsky. When the Raps are making runs, the Chuck Swirsky calls are what make Raps games that much more exciting. Matt Devlin doesn't cut it, we need more "C - B - 4!!!" or "SICK WICKED AND NASTY!" calls. Chuck Swirsky was as much part of the Raptors as Chris Bosh and I miss the Swirsk and his calls.
Last night had a few 40+ point scorers and...No, one of them wasn't Melo scoring 44 for Obama. He ended up with 28 and an L against the Warriors. And oh yeah, Melo got a haircut!
Amare "STAT" Stoudemire had a sick line last night: 49 points, 11 boards, 6 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks!
Lebron ....also sick: 41 points, 9 boards, 6 assists and 4 steals
And the high scorer of the night:
Balance Toi......Tony Parker!
55 points, 10 assists and 7 dimes in the double OT win. Career high for TP.
As the resident Spurs fan....I was watching the box score and couldn't believe TP's stats but what suprised me more was that the 0-3 Spurs (worst start since '74) needed double OT to squeak a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves?! I never usually worry about the Spurs during the regular season but when I see Roger Mason as the third highest scorer, I'm starting to worry. Manu, we need you back!
Quick little post here, I just wanted to share the article I just read.
Accordng to the Denver Post, Carmelo Anthony wants to go for 44 tonight in honour of Barack Obama, the 44th president. No AI in the Nuggets lineup anymore, so Melo may pull it off. We'll see what happens! Congrats to Barack Obama, history was made last night....
The Raps face the Pistons tonight....3-0 record vs 3-0 record but the sad part is that A.I. won't be making his Detroit debut tonight.